A slice of life in a British Borstal reform institution for young criminals.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Warner ...
...
...
Jimmy Hanley ...
Barbara Murray ...
Patrick Holt ...
Andrew Crawford ...
Casey
Thora Hird ...
Mrs. Knowles
Graham Payn ...
Michael Medwin ...
John Blythe ...
Alfie Bass ...
Stanley Escane ...
Bert
Robert Desmond ...
Martin Tiffen ...
Dusty
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Storyline

During post-war England, a young petty crook, Jackie Knowles, is on probation for committing petty crimes. Jackie wants to marry his girlfriend Kitty but they don't have enough money to live on. Jackie foolishly accepts to be the getaway driver for a robbery job. The robbery goes wrong and Jackie is arrested. Because of his previous probation breach, the judge sentences him to three years in a Borstal institution. In the UK, the Borstal institutions are trying to rehabilitate rather than punish young offenders. Jackie Knowles arrives at a Borstal institution run by a sympathetic governor. Initially, Jackie intends to keep his nose clean, do his time and get out. Unfortunatelly, he falls in with a crowd planning to escape. The wrong crowd is run by scheming Welsh boy Alfie Rawlins who senses Jackie's naiveté and innocence. Alfie manipulates Jackie into wanting to join his group by playing on Jackie's anxiety about his girlfriend, Kitty. Alfie lies that Kitty already has forgotten about... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Can bad boys make good ?

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

December 1949 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Boys in Brown  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Made using Rank's "Independent Frame" production system (even though it was made by Gainsborough). The system proved a costly flop. See more »

Connections

Version of Boys in Brown (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A precursor of American Juvenile Delinquent stories
3 June 2011 | by (usa) – See all my reviews

Amazon notwithstanding, a DVD of this is available and I recently ran across it. The story is pretty basic and not very believable but you do learn quite a bit about the time in which it happens. Unlike the US where kids were already defining their own style of dress, their own music and gathering places devoid of adults, the British kids dress like miniature adults with clean white shirt, tie and dark sport coat....even when robbing stores! You get the feeling that success for them means getting what the adults already have rather than renouncing the world of their elders. And they are comfortable hitting a pub for a drink. It's no big deal. I guess the British drinking age is a bit lower than that in the US. But while the British world might have welcomed the youngsters into the fold, the British film industry took things to a ridiculous extreme; all the borstal "kids" are old enough to be guards themselves. Check the biogs of the actors. Several of them are in their 30's, playing teens. Hanley, playing the part of Bill Foster, is 32 and sports an enormous belly. He is almost old enough to have a son of his own in a borstal. Attenborough and Bogard are a little less obvious, but not much. Apparently Rank, like American International and Roger Corman, had difficulty finding suitable juvenile actors and simply used adults dressed as kids. After a while you get used to it since the teens act like little adults anyway. Actually a rather interesting picture from a historical aspect. If you can find it.


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